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Class message: 'Technology doesn’t have to be frustrating'

Optum Community Center’s new technology class
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Posted at 11:47 AM, Sep 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-03 21:21:22-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Have you ever had your parents or grandparents call you for a technology-related question? Well, there is a new class being offered in Tucson to older adults to teach them all of the tech basics.

“Tech has been a variety of cellphone basics. So we really started from the top with saving contacts, general messaging, photos, videos,” said Esteban Castro, a volunteer outreach coordinator at Optum’s Tucson Community Center.

On Friday, Castro taught the class about online shopping. Attendee, Karen Hammond says she started attending the class after she upgraded to an iPhone 12.

“I’m loving it. I love the way it's taught and there’s a lot of individual attention and the classes are small. It feels intimate,” said Hammond.

“It's a very popular class. We get a full 15 people every week with a few people on the waitlist,” said Castro.

“Technology Doesn’t Have to be Frustrating” is what the class is called and Hammond says she feels like she’s got a good grasp on how today’s technology operates.

“I just feel like I’m with it, I’m in it finally after many years of not understanding technology,” said Hammond.

But Optum’s new class is also trying to tackle another issue: social isolation in adults 65 and older. Castro says “social connections” is one of the community center’s main pillars of wellness.

“With the pandemic, a lot of people have isolated themselves and found themselves in situations where they didn’t want to leave. Here at the Optum Community Center, we offer a clean environment for members to come and socialize, to learn, to stay active, and technology is definitely one of the best examples for that,” said Castro.

The technology class is free to those 55 and older.